Paul Lindemuth

Paul Lindemuth

When you think about addiction recovery, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the luxury rehab centers you see in movies or on celebrity Instagram feeds. But most people can’t afford to drop everything and spend a month or more in an inpatient center, much less afford the price tag of luxury rehab. So how do people who struggle with addiction get effective treatment without stopping their lives or draining their savings?

Fortunately, a more flexible, affordable option is increasingly accessible in the Ashtabula area: outpatient addiction treatment.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient: What’s the Difference?

Residential treatment or “inpatient” treatment keeps people in a controlled environment for a month or so. Outpatient centers provide treatment to people who recover without leaving their community. The process starts with a medical and clinical assessment, then a comprehensive treatment plan is developed and tailored to each patient’s needs.

The plan may include medication to control physical cravings, individual therapy and group counseling, peer support, and access to resources for housing, transportation, food, job readiness training, and other social support.

At first, patients spend at least 10 hours a week at the treatment center working on clinical and medical issues. That decreases as patients reach certain recovery milestones, and make medical and clinical progress. Having a treatment center nearby lets people work toward long-term recovery without major interruptions to their jobs, families, or other responsibilities.

Who Can Benefit from Outpatient Treatment?

Some people need the 24-hour care of inpatient treatment. Others have complications that require close medical supervision. But outpatient treatment gives most people a flexible alternative that’s immediate and affordable.

Inpatient rehab facilities are limited by capacity, so many programs have long waitlists that delay starting treatment. Outpatient centers aren’t restricted by a finite number of beds, so they can treat hundreds of patients a day. Most centers offer 24/7 scheduling for same-day or next-day appointments, so people can start recovering as soon as they’re ready.  Some outpatient centers accept walk-ins.

Outpatient addiction treatment doesn’t require paying for a bed, meals, and full-time care, so it’s less expensive than residential. Plus, many programs accept all forms of insurance – including Medicaid, Medicare, and military – and will help patients get coverage. Some outpatient providers also partner with non-profit foundations to cover treatment for uninsured patients. This means finances and insurance coverage don’t dictate who gets care or when they can start.

Most notably, outpatient treatment programs let patients focus on their recovery at home. People learn to fit new behaviors into their everyday lives and practice to overcome inevitable challenges. Replacing old habits with more effective coping skills is essential for long-term recovery. 

Does Outpatient Treatment Work?

Studies show that comprehensive, science-based outpatient addiction treatment is as effective as residential treatment for most people. According to research conducted by the National Institutes of Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and others, long-term recovery results are similar for outpatient and inpatient programs that include medication-assisted treatment, counseling, and help with life support resources.

When it comes to getting treatment for substance use disorder, the best option may be the one you can access as soon as possible. Residential rehab might be a good choice for patients who can afford it, but so many more people need accessible, affordable, proven addiction treatment. Millions of Americans struggle with substance use disorder, but only around 10% currently receive treatment, according to SAMHSA.

Fortunately, outpatient addiction centers in Ashtabula County are making it possible for more people than ever to access vital treatment that can help them reach long-term recovery.

Better yet, outpatient programs let patients stay close to loved ones, continue going to work or school, and focus on recovery without derailing their routines. Addiction is already a major disruption to daily life — treatment shouldn’t have to be.


Paul Lindenmuth is the Clinical Supervisor at BrightView’s Ashtabula Addiction Treatment Center. Area residents can call 833)-510-4357 24/7, receive immediate attention at the Ashtabula Center at 2210 S Ridge Rd East until 3 p.m. weekdays, and get more information at

Trending Video

Recommended for you